Historical Background

Both Park Hall, near Oswestry, and Prees Heath, near Whitchurch, had been used for training camps during World War 1 and were considered as sites for developing the trench project, but because of the various problems associated with the Prees Heath Site, Park Hall was chosen as providing better initial infrastructure.

Major Wynne Corrie Photo by kind permission of the Imperial War Museum

Major Wynne Corrie
Photo by kind permission of the Imperial War Museum

At the beginning of WW1, Park Hall was owned by Major Wynne Corrie, but he moved to Shrewsbury and handed his house and grounds over to the military for their use. The potential of the estate was immediately recognised, and the number of troops billeted there increased from the initial 14,000 to 21,000 within a fortnight. As well as training on the Park Hall grounds, training also took place on the Old Oswestry iron age fort.

One famous soldier who trained there was Wilfred Owen, who had been born in Oswestry.

Park Hall remained a military camp for many years after the end of WW1 and through WW2, finally closing in the 1970s. 

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